Wednesday, April 30, 2014

First Sight

Rating: 1/5

Buy First Sight: Book

Title: First Sight
Author: Danielle Steel
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 310
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
ISBN-13: 9780593063170

It was sometime during my college days that I read the one and only Danielle Steel book that I read (befire this one). Sadly, I dont remember the name of the book. But it was a good one and since then I have been wanting to try her books again. Her stories are usually about women and their conflicts with romance. Atleast that's what I have come to know.

First Sight is about Timmie O'Niell, a highly successful and renowned fashion designer from New York. Despite the fame and riches, Timmie has had more than her share of hardships. The early stages of her life were spent in an orphanage and as if that wasn't cruel enough, she ends up divorcing her husband after their son suddenly dies. Since then she has been totally devoted to her career and her fashion shows. On one such trip to Paris, her favorite city, she meets Dr. Jean Charles Vernier when she unexpectedly falls violently sick. He is the handsome and polite doctor who stands by Timmie comforting and assuring her. Although he is married with kids, he doesn't seem particularly happy and Timmie finds herself falling in love with him even when she is back home. They have a long distance relationship when the doctor confesses that he cannot severe his family relationships abruptly in spite of his desolate marriage. Do they get together or does Timmie face yet another heartbreak? I leave it to the readers to find out.

As for my experience regarding this book, it was a relief when it was over. The passages are so repetitive that I thought of skipping pages! But I didn't. Probably that's why it took me so long to finish this book. Danielle Steel's narrative is so boring, with repeating the same things over and over again. Half way through the story, I almost thought of abandoning the book.

I would not recommend this book and definitely will think twice before reading another Danielle Steel. Repetitive and painfully slow.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Rating: 3.5/5

Buy Chennaivaasi: Book

Title: Chennaivaasi
Author: T.S. Tirumurti
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 270
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN-13: 9789350291016

Chennaivaasi is a book by the author T.S.Tirumurti. I read the summary and since it mentioned a TamBram boy, I thought I should give it a go (TamBram meaning a Tamil Brahmin). Being one myself, I found the story and its instances empathizing and closer to home.

The story is about Ravi, a TamBram boy from Chennai and Deborah, a Jewish girl from America who fall in love and want to to get married with the parent's blessings. While Deborah's parents agree Ravi's father, on the other hand, is enraged. The tradition-bound and adamant man that he is, Appa (as Ravi calls him) is unmoved by the countless pleads and reasoning by his son and shuns him out of his home and life. Nevertheless, Ravi and Deborah take up jobs and shift base to Chennai hoping to resolve the matter. Subsequently as Ravi's mother comes around and is just settling to the idea of an American future daughter-in-law, there is a glimmer of hope. But her sudden death causes a drift among the members of the family and the issues only get worse. Appa leaves his house due to internal disputes and comes to stay with Ravi having no other choice. Whether he accepts Deborah into the family and sorts out his estranged relationship with his son, shapes the rest of the story.

This is the first time I'm reading T.S.Tirumurti's work. It is quite impressive considering the effort put into the style of writing. It doesn't seem deliberate but quite natural actually. It is not often that one comes across such precise use of words and proper writing. One can feel and live the life of a Tamilian in the story. It is so well explained. Little nuances such as the Navarathri celebrations at home, use of words like 'manni' (meaning bhabhi) and the first batch of coffee decoction being served are fond memories for any TamBram like me. Although not a Chennaivaasi myself, the rules of a Tamil household remain the same all over the planet and I, for one, can vouch for that!

The story does sound a little like 2 States by Chetan Bhagat but it is not. Chennaivaasi is not merely struggling for the parent's approval but also includes individual stories and emotional journeys. The characters are the typical south Indians, likely to be any of our relatives/parents. Well written and very believable. Altogether a good book for a quick read. Recommended for sure.

If you are a Tamilian away from home then grab this book and read it while sipping on your hot filter kaapi. Trust me, it is more fun that way!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wise and Otherwise : A Salute to Life

Rating: 3.5/5

Buy Wise and Otherwise : A Salute to Life: Book

Title: Wise and Otherwise : A Salute to Life
Author: Sudha Murthy
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 232
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN-13: 9780143062226

Yet another splendid book by Sudha Murthy, this time with real incidents out of her experience closet. As is the case with the rest of her books that I've had the pleasure reading, this one too leaves the reader with a distinct humbleness and sometimes, with a disturbing truth.

This book is a set of short stories (true occurrences), that took place with the author herself. As the strong, open minded and always-ready-to-help woman that she is, Mrs. Murthy's stance in majority of these stories highlights the plight of the common man/woman in India. Whether it is a rank holder with a poor financial background or an educated and working married woman, the height of helplessness is so prominent that it moved me to tears. On the other hand, there are also tales of those helped by the author reminiscing and being grateful that humbles her, leaving a smile on her face.

Short,nice and touching stories of humanity irrespective of caste, creed or religion. This book is a refreshing change to the cooked up stories that we usually read. Highly recommended.

PS: In these stories Sudha Murthy mainly talks about her experiences as the head of Infosys Foundation, a non-profit organisation, that reaches out to those in need in the far interiors of Indian villages. The book has compelled me to check their website out. For those interested, here is the link:  Infosys Foundation

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